What has many product lines? A multitude of names? Differing marketing communications pieces describing service lines, technology etc? And wonders why they are in survival mode or losing market share?
Hospitals, home healthcare agencies and specialty pharmacies to name a few of the offenders.
Okay, that is probably a little hard but I think you get my point.
Branding as a Misunderstood Concept
Too many times in healthcare, especially in hospitals, home healthcare agencies and specialty pharmacies, I have seen an absence of brand architecture. The logo and name of the hospital or other provider in multiple colors in different places in marketing communication materials. No standardization of key brand messaging. Field sales teams off and about saying whatever they want too, creating leave behinds that frankly, are amateurish at best.
That really comes from a lack of marketing sophistication characterized by little understanding of basic marketing principles, lack of internal communication, lack of strategic vision and failure to recognize that the world has changed. Old models of how you did things to be successful in other organizations before they were sold out from under you don't work anymore.
The Healthcare World is Changing
Today, nobody flies under the radar screen. Healthcare organizations that understand the importance of brand image, brand architecture and brand equity - its impact dollar wise to the bottom-line are growing organically and venturing into new healthcare services. Using the power of their brand to bring implied program or service credibility because of their brand reputation. They have it under control and guard it jealously.
It's all about the brand
Under the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), your brand is becoming more important than ever. In a dynamically evolving marketplace where the healthcare consumer is or will be making a majority of purchase decisions, they need a clear understanding of and representation of your brand. If you brand is out of alignment then you are losing revenue and credibility in the market. A downward spiral that does not end well.
This is also about marketing leadership. I speak to your ability to influence and change the organization of your employment. Educate. Inform. Teach. Do whatever you have to as a marketer too influence and lead your organization. Too much is a stake. Become a leading revenue marketer by creating a strong and enduring central brand.
Marketing is about generating revenue. You can't generate the revenue you need to grow and prosper because your brand or in some cases, multitude of brands are out of alignment in the marketplace.
The clock is ticking. The choice is yours. Fix your brand architecture now, or follow similar organizations to the ash heap of history.
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Michael Krivich is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 1,000 monthly pages views seen daily in over 20 countries around the world. I am a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives as well as a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-293-1471 for hiring as your senior marketing executive , for interim assignments in all aspects of healthcare marketing whether it be strategic or tactical market planning, rebuilding and revitalizing your existing marketing operation, integration of sales and marketing teams, media relations or service line revitalizations. Huthwaite SPIN selling trained and a Miller Heiman Strategic Selling alumni, both highly respected and successful international sales training organizations , I can lead your organization though the challenge of integrating sales and marketing.